Sometime between 830-9pm every night, magic happens in our house.
Daddy becomes Master Ventriloquist. Mummy becomes Master Narrator. And our rambunctious tot stops being a screaming, booger-eating annoying rebel for a couple of minutes. We connect, play and even shimmy-shake as we lose ourselves in various worlds.
Sometimes, we go to where the wild things are. Sometimes, to an African jungle dance. Sometimes, we count calmly to three because we’re “taking care of me“. After our adventures, it’s lights out, a bit more ad-lib storytelling to sleepy land, and then the hubs and I finally get to enjoy exactly an hour of down time before we crash.
Ah, the power of books.
As working parents, we’ve grown to treasure our pre-bed ritual of reading to Julian. And we love filling our shelves with a wide variety of books, partly to expose our children to different topics and partly to gauge their interests. Which is why I’m so glad I discovered the Owl Readers Club.
OWL READERS CLUB – NOT JUST ANOTHER SG ONLINE BOOKSTORE
Besides curating a quality selection of English and Chinese children’s titles, Owl Readers Club is also a community for book-loving families. The club offers a membership with benefits designed to raise young readers and encourage family bonding through book exchanges, story-telling events, workshops and other fun, reading-related activities. What’s more, they have a rewards system that lets you earn store credits.
HOW OWL READERS CLUB WORKS
Step 1: Sign up as a member (it’s free!) and start earning reward points, which can be redeemed for purchases. Writing a book review gets you 50 points and attending book club events earns 200 points, for example.
Step 2: Upgrade to a paid 6-month Membership or 1-year Owl Star Membership to enjoy additional privileges, like:
- Discounts on family products and services like baby gear, accessories, toys and family photography;
- Exclusive offers with preferred partners like Two By Two Schoolhouse, My Gym and Fun @ Giggles;
- 2X reward points for every dollar spent, as well as 2X reward points for writing book reviews, attending book club events and more.
OUR FIRST OWL SHOPPING EXPERIENCE
Now for the fun bit – shopping!!! What I appreciate about Owl Readers Club is the careful curation that helps make the selection process easy for parents. It’s about quality over quantity. And a comprehensive menu allows you to filter your search down to topics, interests, characters and even Chinese books with hanyu pinyin for mother language-challenged parents like myself.
So here’s what we got:
No, I don’t think I got carried away. You guys know we need to hit the free shipping spend to make our money’s worth. In the case of Owl Readers Club, it’s $60. I ended up spending $90, but as you can tell, it went a long way.
THE BOOK STASH
Our first story from the stash was No, David! Trust the No Monster to pick it out himself. He must completely identify with the cheeky, noisy, rule-bending protagonist on the cover.
And what a fun read it was! Lovely illustrations and great humour. Very economical when it comes to language, because well, NOoooo! just about sums up the life of parenting young children doesn’t it? I can tell this book is gonna be one of our faves for a while.
Next, Jules picked How Do Dinosaurs Get Well Soon? We don’t have any dinosaur books nor toys so I got this specially as an introduction as well as to tackle his sudden fear of seeing his paediatrician.
Another fun read! The beautifully detailed illustrations give plenty to pore over. Dinosaurs are naturally intriguing creatures, so I think it’s great they’re used as role models for kids in everyday situations. No wonder there’s a whole series of How Do Dinosaur books out there!
On to a very special book, written by poet extraordinaire Bob Dylan himself. I just had to purchase this because, 1. Bob Dylan and 2. This is the same song Julian’s grandfather sang to him as a newborn! Dar Dar Wild appropriated the same endearing lyrics and till today, dedicates “If not for Ju” to his beloved grandson. Heart-melt, right? If Not for You the book is a touching interpretation of Bob Dylan’s love song. If you’re a Dylan fan and a parent, it’s a must-have.
Next up, a value-for-money bundle by one of our favourite illustrator-authors, Oliver Jeffers. As a big fan of The Day the Crayons Quit or “Duncan” as Julian calls it, I had to snap up Lost and Found and The Way Back Home while they were still on promotion.
On to the board books. I pinned a lot of hopes on Pony Brushes His Teeth because brushing J’s teeth can be such an epic battle at nights. So far, the book has helped to sustain 5-second brushing spurts, which, in the absence of an iPad, is massive progress.
Finally, hoping to incorporate more Chinese reading at home, I picked a Hanyu Pinyin book that had a bit of everything Julian likes: trains, cut out shapes, children and animals. Yup, I’m kiasu like that.
But even with hanyu pinyin, I’m embarrassed to say I was sputtering at every turn. Evidently, 4-6 year old titles are too advanced for me. A real shame because it’s a lovely book with action and interactivity. At least J enjoyed the illustrations enough to stay through about half-way before he put a stop to my incompetence. Sorry kiddo, next time we’ll let Daddy have a go, okay?
But how could I forget Layla! Even though she shares all her brother’s books, I think this baby deserves a book of her own. And the moment I chanced upon Panda Bear, Panda Bear, What Do You See? in Eric Carle’s unmistakable style, I just had to add it into my online cart for her.
The book follows the same rhythmic structure as Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? – one of the first books we ever read to Julian and also one of his all-time faves. Best of all, it features endangered animals, creating the opportunity to educate the kids about preserving wildlife.
Big thanks to Owl Readers Club for reinvigorating story time in the Wild household. We can’t wait to return to discover more great classics and fresh titles and also connect with other book-loving families in the future!
MORE OWL READERS CLUB FEATURES TO LOOK FORWARD TO
Parents can soon purchase books directly from the Owl Readers Club iOS or Android app. Targeted to launch in Dec 2016, the app also allows members to connect with one another to exchange books and organise book activities.
Meanwhile, storytelling sessions are continually organised by the club, so do check out their website or FB page for updates. In fact, the next one is coming up on 26th November at Fun @ Giggles and features Snow by Uri Shulevitza, an award-winning book that will surely get the family in the mood for Christmas!
GIVEAWAY! HOOT, HOOT!
Owl Readers Club wants to give one Mum In the Wild reader a complimentary 6-month membership plus $25 store credit! To win, follow these easy peasy steps:
1) Join Owl Readers Club as a basic member for free.
2) Like Mum In The Wild‘s FB page and this blog post.
3) Like Owl Readers Club‘s FB page.
A winner will be picked on 3rd Dec 2016 and contacted via PM or email after. Winner will also be announced on this blog and Mum in the Wild’s FB page. Terms and conditions apply.
For more information:
*A 6-month membership comes with $10 worth of reward points and a 12 month membership comes with $25 worth of reward points. To use your credits on your first order, simply click redeem and apply the discount code at check out.